Bay Journal

Chesapeake Notebook

News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.

Discovering Leakin Park

On Monday, I had an article published in Slate on Leakin Park.

Leakin Park, for those who don’t know, is a 1,216-acre wilderness park in West Baltimore. It has a nature center, train rides, an art walk, great hiking, streams for catching crayfish, old trees, a restored mansion and a 15-mile bike trail.

But most people know Leakin Park as the place where West Baltimore buries its dead, as the Slate headline succinctly notes.

Rona Kobell
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A full plate of worthy conferences this winter

We journalists love a good conference, one that neatly gathers all the sources for a story into one room. And, with conservation elements cropping up at more of these sessions, you might, too.

Whitney Pipkin

Tenacious reporters get scoop on long delayed phosphorus regs

There is a long tradition of companies and governments releasing news they do not want people to hear on Friday afternoon. This strategy works best on a holiday weekend, a summer weekend, or at the end of a particularly newsy week. The feeling is that the news organization may miss it entirely, or whatever junior reporter is unlucky enough to be on the skeleton crew won’t know enough to write much of a story.

What happened last weekend was even more bizarre. The O’Malley administration didn’t so much release a big piece of news as kind of let it slip, and it was a reporter who forced their hand.

Rona Kobell

Picture This

Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.

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Pond paddle provides lovely setting for photos

I always try to get out and make some photos on the solstices and equinoxes,  and an assignment to illustrate a story about Trap Pond allowed me to chase the morning light there a few hours after this year’s Autumnal equinox.   It’s an amazingly beautiful patch of wild Delaware near Laurel and will be featured in the November issue of the Bay Journal.   The pond, created in the 18th century to power a saw mill to convert the trees into board feet of lumber,  is the epicenter of the northern most stand of bald cypress trees in the United States.   The relatively young trees in the middle of the pond were planted in the 1930’s when the water level  was drawn down to allow the trees to grow.    Once they’re heads are above the water they seem to do fine in an aquatic environment.  Be sure to look for a more complete story about Trap Pond State Park by Tom Horton in the November issue of the Bay Journal.

David Harp
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Order of Chaos

Photographers go to great lengths to make order out of chaos. A good photograph has a strong point of view, clean lines, generally good composition. In this case chaos IS the point. Anyone who has ever witnessed a flock of snow geese erupt into flight knows that the sight and sounds of those birds says chaos to the extreme.    This flock was photographed with a 200mm lens, 2x tele extender, Olympus E-5 camera, 1250/sec. @ f5.6. ISO 200. The scene was made at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge just after sunrise, thin cloud cover.

David Harp
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January morning along the Choptank River

It was a very cold pre dawn January morning along the Choptank River.   Out to capture some winter scenes (since we didn't really have winter last year). I found this ice encrusted plant and made a photo in the early morning light.    Wanting more drama in the photo I waited until the rising sun barely kissed it and made another exposure. Sometimes is pays to wait for the light.Both photographs were made with an Olympus E-5, 12-60mm lens at 21mm.  

David Harp

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